One day stocks are down; the next day, they’re up.
Today they were down.
There wasn’t a whole lot of market-moving news.
Just another low volume day of trading on a holiday shortened week.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,603.5, -117.4, (-0.6%)
- S&P 500: 2,063.3, -15.0, (-0.7%)
- Nasdaq: 5,065.8, -42.0, (-0.8%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
- NYSE floor governor Rich Barry in his afternoon market update email observed that stocks, lately, have been going in the same direction as oil prices. WTI crude fell 3.4% to $36.60. Brent crude fell 3.5% to $36.46. The slide fell following an Energy Information Administration report showing that crude oil inventories increased last week. From the EIA: “US commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 2.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 487.4 million barrels, US crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years.”
- Pending home sales unexpectedly fell 0.9% month-over-month in November, missing expectations for a 0.7% gain. “Home prices rising too sharply in several markets, mixed signs of an economy losing momentum and waning supply levels have acted as headwinds in recent months despite low mortgage rates and solid job gains,” National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “While feedback from Realtors continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.”
- Elsewhere in the world, IMF head Christine Lagarde said: “… global growth will be disappointing and uneven in 2016 … Most highly developed economies except the USA and possibly Britain will continue to need loose monetary policy but all countries in this category should comprehensively factor spillover effects into their decision-making.” Lagarde also warned that China’s slowdown only exacerbates uncertainty and economic vulnerability in the world.
- In stock-specific news, Weight Watchers shares continue to go nuts. This comes a day after new spokesperson Oprah Winfrey tweeted a promotional video, calling on her followers. “Join Me. Let’s do this together,” she said. Shares were up by as much as 25% on Wednesday.
- Despite Wednesday’s modest sell-off, the S&P 500 is still in the green for 2015. Remember, the index closed 2014 at 2,058.9. And so the so-called Santa Claus rally is still alive.
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